Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half.
When John Wanamaker spoke those words in the 1800s, he couldn’t even imagine the Internet. But 150 years later it still holds true. When it comes to vacation rental marketing, attracting potential guests is only half the battle.
Right now, a traveler is looking at your website or viewing your online listing. But why won’t they convert and make a reservation?
Travel Industry Web Conversion Rates are Low
With so many vacation rental home choices accessed with a simple click or swipe, it’s no surprise that conversion rates are low. “Analysis of billions of travel transactions by Adobe found that the average look-to-book conversion rate for hospitality and travel-related products was 2.4%.” Analyst Luiz Maykot says:
“People are using their mobile phones more and more for booking travel, but there is still a lot of room in terms of making those experiences more meaningful, and to get consumers to cross the bridge between just browsing and actually finalizing their purchases.”
Is your vacation rental website mobile-friendly?
Stop Chasing Vacation Rental Website Clicks
An article by Rhondalynn Korolak says,
"A click (or eyeball viewing your offline ad) means nothing to your business. It earns no revenue and creates no brand equity. Your advertising has to have a tangible end goal - and it shouldn't be to reach the most eyeballs or generate lots of clicks. Success lies not in how many people know what you do but rather in how many you are able to connect with and inspire to say "yes" to your product/service."
In other words, it’s not how many website visitors you have, but how many convert. While doubling your website traffic would be expensive, doubling your conversion rate requires only your time and some simple website marketing tips.
How to Improve Vacation Rental Website Conversions
Imagine 3 Words You Can Use to Increase Bookings - Because They're Hypnotic
In a Kissmetrics blog, the author describes three hypnotic words that can boost your conversion rate: imagine, you, and because.
“So by asking your prospect to imagine something, you bypass that critical part that throws up objections, and 'sneak in' to their mind through the back door of their imagination.
"You" is a stand-in for your name, and nothing connects with a person and holds their attention better than the sound of their own name. "So as long as your copy addresses those things for your prospect, it is guaranteed to carry them along in a rapt, semi-torpid daze of introspection."
As human beings, we crave order. We want to know why something is the way it is, what caused something to happen. When our mind's gatekeeper-the "critical factor"-hears that word, it treats it as a cue to let the speaker (or writer) through to the unconscious mind. Give a good reason, and "you're in", so to speak.
These are not the only hypnotic words. There are others. But these three are particularly powerful, and particularly useful to us as marketers and salespeople. They are also conveniently easy to work into copy, into videos, and even into face-to-face sales presentations."
Don’t Miss Your Chance to Increase Conversions with the Power of Urgency!
In a Marketing Land article, Neil Patel says:
“If you can create a stronger sense of urgency on your landing page or websites, then you can successfully spur people to do what you want them to do on your page (i.e., convert).
Urgency causes people to act quickly. Many of the problems that affect conversions are issues of cognitive friction - people think too hard, wait too long, or simply don't respond to our calls-to-action. Raising the urgency level cuts through a lot of this delay to create a significant improvement to conversion rates."
He lists some words that you should include in your website and listing descriptions to increase urgency: Now, Rapidly, Seconds, Fast, Close, Again, Quick, Approaching, Over, Hurry, Never, Instant
Words like these cause the mind to think urgently about time, thus improving a person’s likelihood of converting.
Save Time and Money When You Use Power Words to Increase Vacation Rental Bookings
Increasing your conversion rate means you’ll spend less time and money marketing, and your cost per booking will decrease.
An article on Business2Community.com said,
"These power words aren't just important, they're crucial to your sales copy, and using them correctly will make all the difference between copy that stinks and copy that sells. So what does increase my conversion rate?
Here are some examples of power words: Save, Reduced, Money, Bargain, Win, Lowest, Cheap, Bonus, and Free."
Before and After: The Conversion-Optimized Vacation Rental Home Listing
Which of these vacation rental property listings is more likely to result in a reservation? Which would you choose?
A beautifully decorated 5 bed, 3 bath luxury holiday villa with South East facing pool and spa and balcony from master bedroom.
This villa comprises of a fully fitted kitchen, formal living room and dining room and a family room with 46 inch TV with full cable (200 channels) including sports channels. There is a downstairs double bedroom with a wall mounted 26" flat screen TV and en-suite bathroom. Upstairs there is a king size master bedroom with safe and queen size room both with TV's and then two twin bedrooms, also with flatscreen TVs. There are 2 X-Box 360's and an outside Weber grill for guests' use.
Imagine you, reclining on the balcony of this luxury holiday villa watching your strangely content kids enjoy the sun-drenched pool and spa after a day at Disney - because your holiday should be both relaxing and entertaining! With even more amenities than you'd expect, this 5 bedroom 3 bathroom villa is perfect for kids and parents alike.
Located a short 10 minutes from Disney, this villa is the perfect location to visit theme parks. You are only minutes away from championship golf, upscale shopping, award-winning dining and other fun attractions. When you're ready to relax, you'll really appreciate the secluded setting inside a quiet, gated community, surrounded by orange trees and protected wetlands.
Act now to reserve this holiday home; availability is limited during peak seasons.
If you said the “after” version, it’s because it uses power words, conveys urgency, and invokes emotion on the part of the reader.
Are You Ready to Convert More Visitors to Holiday Rental Guests?
Take the next step quickly, because your competition is reading this too. With rental listings optimized for conversion, now you’re ready to distribute your listings across portals such as Homeaway or MagicStay with a channel management software solution.
Still need more information? Download the free Kigo eBook “Understand How Portals Work.”